Wakulla Spring


Useful Information

Location: From Tallahassee south on South Adams, becomes Crawfordville Highway (US 319 South), turn left on State Road 61, turn left on State Road 267, park entrance to the right. (30°14'7.64"N, 84°18'9.80"W)
Open:  
Fee:  
Classification:  Karst spring
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=45,000m.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Wakulla Springs State Park, 550 Wakulla Park Drive, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327-0390, Tel: +1-840-224-5950.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:59:31 $

History

 
20-MAY-2006new cave diving record: 6,096m.
JUL-2007divers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski discover connection to Leon Sinks.

Description

Wakulla Spring is located south of Tallahassee in the panhandle. This is the northwestern branch of Florida, which looks like a pan handle on the map. It is also the part of Florida with the highest elevation, limestone underground and abundant rainfall. The whole area is intensively karstified, which is very easily visible on a good map: there are thousands of dolines, many of them filed with ground water and thus shown as small circular ponds. Thoses ponds are generally called cenote, a term which originates from Mexico.

The spring of the Wakulla river, which flows only 14km to the sea, the Gulf of Mexico, is one of the largest karst springs on Earth. It also holds the world record of the longest cave dive of the World. After an intensive research by a group of cave divers the known length of the underwater spring was extended by 650m. To reach the farthest known point of the cave a dive of 6,096m is necessary. This is the longest known underground dive on Earth.

The newest exploration happened in JUL-2007. The two cave divers Casey McKinlay and Jarrod Jablonski discoverd the connection between Wakulla Springs and Leon Sinks. As a result the new Wakulla Springs cave system has now a total length of 45km. This makes it the longest underwater cave in North America. The divers are from Woodville Karst Plain Project, which explores the underwater caves of the 1160km² Woodville Karst Plain.

The spring is the center of a National Park and used for numerous recreation activities. People are visiting the spring, have picnics, travel with boats on the river. However, recreational diving is not allowed at Wakulla Springs. The cave spring is considered to dangerous, also intensive diving could harm nature. The entrance is almost 60m deep, and there are sumps with more than 90m depth. The divers at Wakulla Diving Center try since the mid 1980s to change the regulations. They say the advances in technoligy during the last 20 years make dives even in this depth much safer. At the moment recreational diving is not allowed at Wakulla Spring, but at three other caves within the park.


See also


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